UCP government expanding rapid COVID testing in Alberta
File photo. This is the handheld, rapid-testing device for COVID-19, which can confirm test results for the virus in less than one hour. Photo credit to Spartan Bioscience Inc.
EDMONTON, AB. – Rapid testing for COVID-19 is being rolled out to all long-term care and supportive living facilities across Alberta.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro says these rapid tests will be used to screen asymptomatic staff. He says these tests have been already been successfully used in outbreaks, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
“Expanding rapid tests to help keep the 36,000 staff safe who take care of Alberta’s seniors is the next logical step. The Suncor pilot is also an exciting development and a critical first to what I hope will be many private sector employers embracing rapid tests to restart the economy,” says Shandro.
Shandro says more than a thousand health care workers at all these health care sites have been trained to administer the rapid testing systems.
In addition, Alberta has provided 7,000 rapid tests for a pilot at Suncor Energy’s base plant in Fort McMurray and the First Nation and Métis community of Fort McKay. Led by Creative Destruction Labs (CDL), these pilots will test approximately 325 workers twice per week, for 10 weeks.
Rapid testing has already been deployed at:
- 33 COVID-19 assessment centres
- 29 hospitals
- Seven homeless shelters
- Mobile testing facilities that test residents and staff of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities identified as potential outbreak sites.
(Files from Government of Alberta news release)